Cyber security used to mainly be the concern of a company’s IT department an was barely mentioned – if at all – to the rest of the organization’s staff.
Today cyber crime is big business. Any organization that’s connected to the internet is vulnerable and could come under attack. And the amount of attacks continues to grow, as does the types of attacks and their growing sophistication.
Cyber attacks cost businesses millions of dollars to deal with every year –and the problem is only estimated to get worse – it’s believed that cybercrime will cost the global economy $6 trillion a year on average until 2021.
The costs mentioned above only account for the lost revenue as a direct result of a breach. There are other ways that a cyber attack can affect and damage your business. These include:
- Reputational damage among customers, government, shareholders, investors and other stakeholders. This can vary depending on the scale of the attack and the damage that has been done.
- Theft of intellectual property belonging to your business.
- Ongoing problems as your customer-facing systems or back-end computer systems are crippled without resolution – every hour, every day, every week your systems are down you are losing money and credibility.
- A very real risk of legal action for failing to keep confidential information protected or not fulfilling contractual obligations to clients.
- Theft of your customers’ personal information such as identity or credit card details.
- The burden on your organization and a loss of productivity while you have systems that don’t work and the time taken to restore them.
- Reputational damage isn’t limited to just the company itself – it can cause damage to the careers of many senior executives, especially if there is legal action involved or the situation has played out publically in the media.
You can’t afford to not care about cyber security: every employee from the CEO down has an important role to play in safeguarding their company’s data and keeping the organization safe from attack.
In fact it’s known that employees are often the leading cause of IT security problems within an organization. While most of the time this isn’t malicious, mistakes happen either through carelessness or lack of awareness.
Employees can fall for phishing scams where they provide valuable information and credentials to cyber criminals. They may also open attachments on emails that contain viruses and malware, visit unsafe websites or perhaps they don’t have good password protocols in place.
Creating a culture of security awareness can show all of your employees why they should care about security and why they have responsibilities in this area.
A great way to do this is by using DeskAlerts to deliver important messages to your staff, educating them on different aspects of cyber security. You can also send the messages when there is a known threat affecting other companies so your people can be vigilant.
DeskAlerts also contains a quiz module that will allow you to test your employees’ knowledge of cyber security practices so that you can tailor more education material to fill in any gaps in their knowledge.